Hamas, Fatah unity talks 'in final stage'

Meshaal's visit with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal was designed to help reconciliation, Saudi officials said.

Hamas, Fatah unity talks 'in final stage'

Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said on Sunday the group was in the final stages of achieving reconciliation with the Palestinian Fatah party after he met Saudi Arabian officials to try to narrow the differences.

"We achieved great strides towards achieving reconciliation," Meshaal told reporters at the foreign ministry during a visit to the Saudi capital. "We are in the final stages now."

An Egyptian proposal to promote reconciliation between Hamas and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah group has called for presidential and legislative elections to be held in the West Bank and Gaza Strip next June.

Meshaal said Hamas still had some points to resolve in the Egyptian proposal.

"We all agree that the signing of the (reconciliation) will take place in Cairo," he said.

Meshaal's visit with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal was designed to help reconciliation, Saudi officials said.

"We still hope that the kingdom plays a special role alongside Egypt and Arab countries to help us first succeed in sponsoring the Palestinian reconciliation and unify the Palestinian position and also to prompt Arabs to confront the stubborn Israeli administration," Meshaal said.

Meshaal's trip followed a state visit by Abbas and Turkish FM is also now in Saudi Arabia and U.S. President Barack Obama's Middle East envoy George Mitchell will also visit Saudi in the coming days.

Azzam al-Ahmad, a senior Fatah official, said Fatah has already endorsed the Egyptian proposal and it was up to Hamas to either follow suit or reject it.

"We urge Hamas to sign it so that we begin implementing the agreement," al-Ahmad told Reuters.

It was the first known meeting between Saudi and Hamas officials since Saudi Arabia brokered the Mecca Agreement in 2007 between Hamas and Fatah.


Reuters


Last Mod: 04 Ocak 2010, 12:53
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